Most people will assert that they feel they have free will yet most contemporary philosophers and neuroscientists, when pressed for an opinion, will suggest it is just an illusion. Some will half-joke that we only have ‘free won’t’ instead. If free will is an illusion, why do we feel we have it? And does it then really mean we are not free?
This talk attempts to provide answers to these questions from a physicalist perspective, extending the basic idea of ‘free won’t’ to include ideas from elsewhere, including robotics and biology. It emphasizes the role of time in providing us with freedom, despite determinism.
This is the third in a series of talks for the general public that is looking at brain-related issues from a modern, physicalist stance.